Rain

The eternal popularity of Beatles music has, unsurprisingly, spawned plenty of Fab Four tribute acts. Working musicians smelling money can put on costumes and bang out chords from sheet music. Sometimes they'll just hastily assemble a group and book a gig.


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Bands, Entertainment


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The eternal popularity of Beatles music has, unsurprisingly, spawned plenty of Fab Four tribute acts. Working musicians smelling money can put on costumes and bang out chords from sheet music. Sometimes they'll just hastily assemble a group and book a gig. What has set Rain apart for more than two decades - building its own large and loyal following - is its treatment of the Beatles catalog as classical music.
 
"They're the Mozarts of pop," Rain keyboardist Mark Lewis says of the Beatles. Rain's energy and devotion to even the most minute details of the recordings of John, Paul, George and Ringo led a critic for the Portland Oregonian newspaper to write, "The band contains better musicians than the Beatles - but then, they'd almost have to be in order to recreate the sound so well."
 
The talented musicians that make up RAIN are as follows.
 
Joey Curatolo - (Vocals, Bass, Piano, Guitar)
 
Steve Landes - (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Piano, Harmonica)
 
Joe Bithorn - (Vocals, Lead Guitar)
 
Ralph Castelli - (Drums, Percussion, Vocals)
 
Mark Lewis (Keyboards, Percussion)
 
 
The giddy excitement at every Rain show can be attributed to three distinct factors working magically together. One is the universal appeal of Beatles' music. Second is the power of that music when played to uncanny perfection. Third is the cohesive stagemanship of the members in Rain, who have been playing together for more than twice as long as the Beatles did, and, indeed, are a band in the truest sense.
 
The five members of Rain, each a huge Beatle fan himself, use the Beatles' albums like textbooks, constantly referring to them to ensure the songs performed live include every harmony, vocal tone, chord inversion, handclap, cowbell, string arrangement - even possible good. That's why Rain's music meets the expectations of audiences "who know the Beatles' music subconsciously," as keyboardist Mark Lewis explains.
 
To replicate the Beatles' studio sounds on stage (and with no pre-recorded tracks) would be impossible without prodigious musicianship. After all, the Beatles were in their early-to-mid 20s during their concert heyday. They'd typically play for 22 minutes, singing in high keys. A Rain show typically runs 75 minutes, with the songs performed in their original keys. That takes stamina, topnotch singing ability and dazzling technical prowess on a variety of instruments. What's more, the Beatles themselves quit touring in 1966. The pioneering, intricate recordings from Sergeant Pepper through Abbey Road were never performed live by the group. That adds another dimension of difficulty for Rain. But the band - supplemented by various sounds of the Beatles background instrumentation from offstage keyboardist Lewis' synthesizer and, when needed, Joe Bithorn's guitar synthesizer - carries through.
 
Finally, Rain's members are indefatigable perfectionists who, even after 4,000 shows together, rehearse exhaustively before every extended concert run. The four onstage members are veterans of the made-for-Broadway stage show Beatlemania and not only project the physical looks, speech and traits of the immortal lads from Liverpool, but the camaraderie and charisma the Beatles possessed to a degree even their nearest competitors, the Rolling Stones, never could match. Like the Beatles, the members of Rain are not only supreme musicians - but electrifying performers.
 
RAIN is without doubt "The Most Renowned Beatles Tribute in the World".

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